Madonna 'very annoyed' at having to queue at Malawian airport after VIP status stripped

 

Madonna, her children and a large entourage were reportedly forced to queue to check in and go through security with ordinary passengers at a Malawi airport terminal after the pop star was apparently stripped of her VIP status in the country.

The singer and her spokesperson were reportedly “very annoyed” at the change in protocol which – although unconfirmed by President Banda - was apparently prompted by a war of words between the Material Girl and the Malawian authorities.

Celebrities and heads of state arriving at Kamuzu International Airport are normally taken from and to planes by limousine and are given access to a special VIP lounge.

Malawi’s education minister Eunice Kazembe recently accused Madonna of exaggerating her charitable work in the country.

The pop star arrived last week with her two adopted Malawian-born children to tour ten primary schools which her charity said she had built. Mrs Kaembe told the BBC: "She has built classrooms at existing schools... really it's a difference in terminology.”

She continued: “They have said... they have built ten schools in Malawi and on our side what we know is that she [Madonna] has built classrooms... these are not schools from our side and really that's the essence of the difference between her side and the Malawi government.”

Madonna also reportedly requested an audience with President Joyce Banda, the country’s first female president, but this was ignored. Photographs of an informal letter reported to have been written by Madonna to the Malawian president, addressed “Dear Joyce..,” circulated this week, but a meeting between them was not arranged.

The singer’s spokesperson reportedly said President Banda was acting on a “grudge” because her sister Anjimile Oponyo was sacked as the CEO of Madonna’s charitable foundation, the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, amid allegations of theft. All allegations have been denied by Ms Oponyo.

When Madonna arrived in Malawi last Monday with her children David and Mercy James, both 8, Rocco, 12 and Lourdes, 16, they didn’t have to queue and their luggage was handled by special staff and did not go through ordinary security screening.

But on Saturday Madonna and her 15 companions were not afforded the same treatment ahead of boarding her private Gulfstream jet.

"There was a directive that Miss Louise Ciccone, travelling on an American passport, and her children should use the ordinary passenger terminal on their way to their jet," a Department of Aviation source at Kamuzu International Airport told The Telegraph.

"Her manager Trevor Neilson and her security detail tried to negotiate but we told them we can't open the VIP lounge without authorisation… Madonna and Mr Neilson were very annoyed by this but her children, especially David, seemed to enjoy mingling with the ordinary people. David would stray to talk to other children and his mother used to call him back.”

Arts and Entertainment
Just folk: The Unthanks

music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne with his Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rowan Atkinson is bringing out Mr Bean for Comic Relief

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment
V&A museum in London

Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

    Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

    Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea